Criminal Offenses

Anti-Crime Legislation

IREM Position:
IREM supports tough anti-crime measures that will help property managers better address crime and reduce criminal activity on their properties and communities through their day-to-day activities and capacities as managers. IREM supports common sense legislation designed to minimize criminal activity in all settings and punish the perpetrators of such activity, including but not limited to:

  • Continued expansion of community policing in cities and towns across America through the creation of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).
  • Creation of community boot camps for juvenile offenders, which can instill discipline, provide vocational training, and increase their likelihood of avoiding a life of crime.
  • Providing criminal drug addicts with drug rehabilitation treatment as a mandatory part of any incarceration.
  • Increased penalties for gun offenses, imposition of federal death penalties for killing a federal law enforcement officer, and other heinous crimes.
  • Increased penalties for various crimes against children and crimes in which minors are used, and creation of a national tracking system for those convicted of child abuse or criminal offenses against minors. The tracking issue is addressed in legislation referred to as Megan's Law.
  • Tougher penalties for interstate stalking of women and for recidivist sex offenders, as well as stronger rights for crime victims.
  • Increased penalties for possession of firearms and illegal drugs in or around schools.
  • Enhanced controls on illegal entry into the United States.
  • Swift and sure punishments once criminals have been found guilty of violent offenses.
  • New death penalty crimes and procedures and life imprisonment for three-time recidivists, and new criminal penalties for gang violence.
  • Stiff penalties for providing material support to terrorists and terrorist-related activities.
  • IREM supports keeping handguns out of the hands of criminals and therefore supports the Brady Bill, which requires a five-day waiting period before the purchase of a handgun.
  • IREM also supports the right of individuals to provide for their own legitimate defense, including the lawful possession of firearms in accordance with local, state, and federal laws.

In regard to the legal system, IREM supports the reform of habeas corpus procedures, raised standards for court-appointed legal counsel, and limits to appeals.

(Adopted 11/93. Updated 6/98, 10/06, 10/10, 10/16, 10/22)

Civil Asset Forfeiture

IREM Position:
The Institute of Real Estate Management supports the swift, timely eviction of drug dealers. IREM urges that the government when enacting seizure procedures, require proof of owner complicity in the illegal drug activity before authorization for seizure of real property can be granted. Those owners whose property is seized must be given time to contest the forfeiture and access to legal counsel. If found innocent, a property owner must have the ability to receive compensation for negligence, damage, or loss of property due to seizure.

(Adopted 11/01. Confirmed 4/09, 2/14, 02/23)

Combating Drugs in Rental Housing

IREM Position:
Members of IREM believe in a real estate manager making a reasonable effort, within his or her area of expertise, to protect tenants, owners, employees and property from the harmful effects of illegal drug activity. IREM feels that appropriate responsibility includes cooperation with law enforcement to the extent allowed by landlord-tenant laws and other state and local laws. IREM also believes that it is the manager's responsibility to familiarize law enforcement authorities with the managing agent's fiduciary responsibilities to property owners. IREM further believes that managers who act in good faith by documenting and notifying authorities of drug activity, and otherwise cooperating with authorities, do thereby protect an innocent owner's property from seizure by law enforcement authorities.

IREM recommends that real estate managers take the following steps to curb illegal drug activity:

  • Include reviews for criminal activity, as permitted by law, in background checks of prospective tenants and employees.
  • Define and address drug activity in lease agreements and company policy.
  • Advise tenants in writing that illegal drug activity will be considered a breach of lease and subject to all applicable penalties.
  • Advise the proper authorities of any known drug activity.
  • Document all action taken in regards to a property involved in drug activity.
  • Take the same precautions with employees as are necessary when dealing with tenants.
  • Affected members spearhead the coordination of a drug awareness and prevention program on a local basis with other rental housing organizations.

IREM supports legislation which protects and aids owners and real estate managers in responsible administration of anti-drug efforts. Laws that treat innocent owners and managers as accomplices are counter-productive, as are laws that demand managers to assume responsibility beyond the realm of management expertise.

It is not productive, and is dangerous, to burden managers with responsibilities better suited to law enforcement, counseling agencies, or governments.

(Adopted 11/91. Updated 4/07, 3/11, 9/14, 10/23)

Federal Megan's Law

IREM Position:
IREM fully supports the federal government's policy to protect children and the general public from convicted sexual offenders and sexually violent predators. IREM also supports the federal government’s operation of the National Sex Offender Public Website as a means to reach its objective. Unless otherwise required by law Property managers who are concerned about risks associated with a failure to provide adequate information and the risk of disclosing private information on sex offenders are recommended to refer inquires to The National Sex Offender Public Website.

IREM further urges all property managers to be familiar with state enforcement of Megan’s Law as well as state privacy law requirements.

(Adopted 11/96. Updated 11/97, 10/06, 10/10, 9/14, 10/23)

Methamphetamine Labs and Remediation

IREM Position:
The Institute of Real Estate Management recommends that property managers hire trained professionals who follow the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies guidelines as well as local and state codes, laws, and guidelines for remediation of any space used as a meth lab. Furthermore, the burden of cleanup costs should not be the property owners, but rather the cost of the occupant of the leased space.

(Adopted 10/23)

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